Competition for international visitors — and not least deep-pocketed business travellers — is tough and increasingly getting tougher, writes dibusiness.dk.
A foreign business traveller spends 2,150 kroner (288 euros) per day on average, while a regular Danish tourist ‘only' spends around 1,300 kroner (174 euros) and a Danish business traveller 1,750 kroner (234 euros), according to figures from VisitDenmark.
“Foreign business travellers are a very attractive group, quite simply because they spend a whole lot of money while they're abroad. That is why we are working together here in the Region of Southern Denmark to attract international events. Denmark has lots to offer, including good infrastructure, a high degree of professionalism, good security, a green image and beautiful nature,” says Grete Højgaard, managing director of conference centre MESSE C in Fredericia.
MESSE C hosts a large number of fairs, conferences and events annually, ranging from 100 participants to many thousands—often in collaboration with other local players. Most visitors come from Denmark, while a significantly lower, albeit increasing part comes from abroad, Højgaard said.
“We're a small country, and there aren't so many of us here to tell the rest of the world what we can do. That's why we need to invest in attracting attention. The individual company cannot do it alone, so it is crucial that we collaborate across industries to spread the word about Denmark. But it is also something we need to allocate money for, because that's what other countries are doing,” she said.
Denmark has enjoyed substantial growth in business tourism in recent years, among Danish business travellers as well as international business tourists.
But since 2015, the numbers have flattened out, and nearby countries such as the Netherlands and Sweden have taken the lead, shows a new analysis from the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI).
“In Denmark, we have good prospects for doing well in the competition for business tourists. We have a lot of what it takes, but so do our neighbouring countries, and it looks like they have won the last few rounds in the competition,” said Sune K. Jensen, head of tourism at DI.
Jensen and Højgaard both confirmed they have observed an increasing tendency for travellers to connect business with leisure, for example by extending their business trip with a few days spent as a tourist
Although the competition is tough, Jensen also has a few ideas for what it will take to put Denmark back in the lead in business tourism.
“First of all, we must continue improving our infrastructure — not least our airports. It is in no small degree accessibility that makes the capital region and southern Denmark particularly good at attracting business tourists,” he said.
The country must therefore continue working to make it easier for businesses and organisations to choose Denmark as the location for their next fair or conference, he added.
“In addition, we must take advantage of our strengths in order to make Denmark an attractive choice. This could be by connecting business to gastronomic experiences, for example,” the tourism director said.
Business tourism in Denmark currently accounts for an annual revenue of 27 billion kroner (3.6 billion euros), one quarter of the tourism industry's total revenue.